Cacao is actually called ‘theobroma cacao’ which translates as ‘food of the gods’.
Cacao trees produce fruits (pods) which contain cacao seeds. From these seeds cacao solids and butter are extracted which can be used to make delious raw chocolates and even face creams!
In its raw state, cacao is extremely nutritious, and is a great source of vitamins and minerals including iron, chromium, copper, zinc, potassium and phosphorus.
It is also recognised as one of the best sources of magnesium in existence. This ladies, is also why some women crave chocolate at a certain time of the month. It’s not because you want chocolate exactly, but because you need the magnesium which can be found in abundance within raw cacao.
So next time you get the cravings, ditch the sugary processed forms of chocolate and get chowing down on some amazing raw chocolate, add some cacao nibs to your breakfast or blend up a tasty cacao smoothie to banish those cravings!
Moving away from PMS and back to the magnesium..!
Magnesium is a mineral that is required for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, and it helps the body to perform its normal functions. These include maintenance of muscle and nerve function, building of proteins, controlling blood sugar, regulation of blood pressure, and magnesium is also required for the proper growth and maintenance of bones. Signs of your body lacking in this mineral include muscle cramps, fatigue and abnormal heart rhythms.
The humble cacao bean is also very rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are helpful in preventing and repairing free radical damage, protecting and repairing cells, and therefore help to keep you healthy.
Chocolate is often dismissed as an unhealthy snack, but this is due to how it is processed. When chocolate is made, cacao is processed and refined, and large amounts of refined sugar are often added, along with processed fats, milk, artificial sweeteners, colourings and added flavourings. When cacao is consumed in its unprocessed form, it acts as a great mood enhancer, and is rich in anti-aging antioxidants, great for energy and even good for your arteries due to the flavonoids which prevent fat-like substances in the bloodstream from oxidising and clogging.
Cacao is incredibly versatile and can be used in various forms and in a multitude of ways to really get the benefits and enjoyment from it.
Try it in powdered form by adding it to smoothies, mixed in to porridge, added to raw or baked goods, mixed with nut milk, cinnamon and coconut sugar to make a hot chocolate. It can also be mixed with avocados to make a mousse for a tasty dessert!
Add cacao nibs to porridge, smoothies, yogurt, trail mixes, or eat as a nutritious snack when you need a boost of energy. They can also be used as a replacement for chocolate chips in recipes, though they are bitter and are more nutritious when kept raw.
Alternatively, you can try my one of favourite cacao smoothie recipes!
From a Choco-holic to Another Cacao Smoothie
2 frozen bananas
2 tbsp cacao powder
1 tsp cacao nibs
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp x organic almond butter
1-2 cups almond milk/coconut milk/cashew milk/water
Sweetener of choice – 2-4 dates, 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup or raw honey
Superfood option – 1 teaspoon maca powder
You can also add a pinch of cayenne for a kick of spice, maya –style!
Blend all ingredients until a liquid consistency is reached – enjoy!
Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know via our Facebook !
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication